January/February, 2010 Volume 10, Issue 4


Let's Recycle!

I have boxes with old CD's and their cases around my office because I keep thinking that I'll create some wonderful project with them, like using them to shingle my roof or tile my floors. In fact, last week, I did put together a rather nice bird house, which I have yet to test in the elements.

Many of you work in family literacy, with parents looking for projects to do with their kids. Many work with students who need to apply math in real situations. Others need to teach students how to write instructions. On and on, the need to help students engage in their learning activities remains. Crafts can provide the perfect vehicle for getting students involved in their learning.

Not surprisingly, the Web is full of ideas on how to creatively use old CD's and CD cases to create projects. Following are a few resources to jump start your students as they develop their own ideas for recycling this plentiful source of materials.


Clocks from CDs – Teach time in ESL, work with gears with GED students, write  with ABE students. Some of the sites above also have instructions for clocks.

Old CD Cases

Pam Smith: You'll Be Missed!


Pam, thank you for the years of service you have given to adult education in Colorado and everywhere else. As our fearless leader, you have brought vision and compassion into our programs. Your legacy will long endure.


We wish you the very best as you journey forth into new territory and enjoy all that life has in store for you in the coming years! You will certainly be missed!

Site Recommendations from the field

Thank you Doug Glynn and John Horbacz!

  • http://www.englishcentral.com/en/home - This site offers several great videos for teaching ESL. Select from Easy , Medium or Hard, and enjoy. Registration is free.

  • Free Spoken English Handbook 1.3

  • From English Banana : http://www.englishbanana.com- This free e-book contains over 300 pages of ideas, techniques, worksheets, tests, and instructions for learning and teaching spoken English. It's an essential download for all students and teachers of EFL, ESL, and English. This book contains detailed chapters on the following topics: Connected Speech; Sentence Stress; Word Stress; Prefixes; Suffixes; Compound Nouns; Weak Forms; How to Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA); Spelling and Sounds. It also contains in-depth instructions about how to use Talk a Lot materials in the classroom.

  • WordWeb - Look up words in thesaurus and dictionary from almost any program.

  • Babylon - Translate words, full texts, Web pages, and complete documents into 75 languages.

  • Google Earth - Put a planet's worth of geographic information right on your desktop.

  • Oxford Dictionary of English (Second Edition) - Move your cursor over a word and read its definition in Oxford Dictionary of English instantly.

  • TypingMaster Pro Typing Tutor - Learn touch-typing with a program that dynamically adjusts training to your learning needs.

  • WorldWide Telescope - View the same images that scientists at NASA use for their research on your desktop.

  • Ray's Spelling and Word Games  Practice your spelling, reading, and vocabulary skills.

  • Fractions n Decimals — Convert decimals and fractions, add, subtract, divide, and multiply fractions.

Featured Site - ProLiteracy

"ProLiteracy champions the power of literacy to improve the lives of adults and their families, communities, and societies. We envision a world in which everyone can read, write, compute, and use technology to lead healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives." (ProLIteracy Home Page)

This site is filled with great resources for adult education programs. Join for free, and gain access to the "members only" resources, which has access to the following:

  • Access to ProLiteracy's Information Center

  • Current and back issues of Notebook: Resources for the Adult Educator, as well as related teaching materials. -->> This month's issue features an article written by Yours Truly with Notebook Editor Paula Douglass, describing the activities in the ESL Car WebQuest,  which I originally published last year for Colorado adult educators.

  • ProLiteracy's photo bank

  • Information about your membership benefits

  • Much more!

ProLiteracy also offers a series of online workshops and courses for adult ed practitioners. I have taken courses from them and expanded my abilities considerably. Check them out.

The January 2010 issue of Notebook: Resources for the Adult Educator has lots of ideas for tutors and teachers that can be adapted to suit a variety of students. These include:

  • a WebQuest for beginning ESL students to help them learn the parts of a car

  • practice dialogues related to cars

  • a health literacy activity to help students learn handy phrases when talking with medical personnel and for creating a wallet-sized medical emergency card

  • a review of the language experience approach and how to find free resources that can help you use it more effectively

Reminder: Notebook is automatically mailed to all current ProLiteracy members. As a member benefit, you can access the most recent issues online.

You may also access the "Car WebQuest" described in this month's Notebook  on our content site: http://www.coloradoadulted.org/Webquests/CarQuest/carwebquest.htm. This project is designed for beginning adult ESL students, with some assistance from the instructor. I encourage you to read the article if you are not familiar with the great value of WebQuests!

PD Map

Thanks, Jane Miller and the PD Advisory Group, for this month's excellent, as always, CDE/AEFL Professional Development Monthly Advisor and Planner for Colorado adult education teachers! February's PD Map theme is Using Technology with Adult Learners. I hope you have a copy and will check out the great technology  resources that were shared in that publication. If you didn't get a copy, you can access it, along with previous issues, on our state webpage, at http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdadult/PDMAP.htm.

Lunch and Learn

Our next Lunch and Learn session will be held on Wednesday, February 3rd, Noon to 1 PM. We will design student activities together using Google Maps.

Register to attend the session at http://coloradoeducation.wufoo.com/forms/lunch-and-learn-sign-up/. Virtual seating is limited to nine people. You will be sent instructions on joining the session through your email after you sign up.

Feel free to have students attend the session if you have a lab where you can project the session thorough LCD or any other computer projector. Sign up for one seat, and let others attend at your site. You will need speaker to allow everyone to hear the instructions being given.

All materials and links used during Lunch and Learn session are posted on your state wiki: http://chiresources.pbworks.com/, along with a number of other links and ideas. Resources are linked with the most recent at the bottom. Feel free to contact your Resource Center if you need help with any of the computer skills listed.

Think Again

What do the images below represent?




For every contribution you make to Tech Beat, you'll receive a thumb drive! Just send me you snail-mail address with the contribution.

CONTACT ME: 4cpdrc@coloradoadulted.org